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The wicket taker

“They’re going through a difficult period. [South Stars] went through a similar thing four or five years ago in terms of a whole new squad coming together,” she says. “It was just about working hard and consistently and as a squad, and on the back of that we’ve had success. Most of us are used to the luxury of seeing the men doing well, but they’ll turn it around.”

Being around the national set-up for so long, Perry is also relishing her role as a leader of the side, captained by keeper Jodie Fields, especially when new quick bowlers join the attack. “Looking at the amount of games I’ve played and time in the team I’m one of the more senior players,” she says. “Being a fast bowler I try to help the new girls who come into that role and hopefully that makes some sort of difference, but we have great experience across the board and a lot of people capable of being leaders.”

There’s no greater Perry protegé than Holly Ferling, 17, who idolised Perry as a teen in Kingaroy, Queensland, and from the boundary could be mistaken for her with flowing blonde hair, smooth bowling action and speed. Ferling famously replaced injured Perry and starred in Australia’s two-run win over England in the World Cup Super Sixes.

The red carpet star

It’s a bonus for the Aussie squad, as it’s not like the sport needs to find a replacement for Perry. Nor does Sydney FC need to find a speedy new defender. While the first stories about her two-year romance with a young star rugby player came out last week – both parties prefer their private lives to stay that way – Perry has no intention of giving herself exclusively to football or cricket.

“I still play both sports,” she says defiantly. When asked about them clashing, such as when the Stars defend their T20 crown in Bangladesh in March and the Matildas take on Asia’s best in World Cup qualifiers in May, her resolve doesn’t quiver.

“It’s the way I’ve always done it, in conjunction with both sports,” she says. “I have wonderful support from the Football Federation Australia and Cricket Australia, so whenever a clash arises I work it out with a lot of other people. I truly love playing both sports, as much as each other. I want to keep playing both sports as long as I can.”

Women’s Ashes Test, Aug 11-14, £10 pre-sale.  
Wormsley Cricket Ground, HP14 3YG  
Station | High Wycombe

Women’s Ashes series: Perry promises close one

The Women’s Ashes will be played over  a Test, two ODIs and three Twenty20s, starting on Sunday.

Test victory earns six points while there are two points up for grabs in each of the limited overs games – most points wins the Ashes, simple.

“It’s a great new concept,” Ellyse Perry tells TNT, and one that does justice to the always tight contests between Australia and England’s women’s teams. 

“In the last 12 months or so we’ve slightly had the upper hand because we’ve won the T20 and ODI World Cups, but in both of those tournaments the closeness of the matches with England show it could have gone either way. I’m confident that whatever way the result goes, it won’t be by much.”

All games will be covered by BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra (days clashing with the men on BBC Sport online). T20s will air on Sky Sports Ashes HD.

ODIs (10.45am starts): Aug 20, Lord’s, London; 
Aug 23 and 25, Sussex County Ground. 
T20s: Aug 27, Chelmsford, 7pm; 
Aug 29, Ageas Bowl, Southampton, 2.15pm; Aug 31, Durham ICG, 10.15am.


Photos: Getty


Girl on fire: Aussie cricket and football rep Ellyse Perry is raring to retain the Women's Ashes
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